Is it better to lose fat or gain muscle if I want to tone up?

Toning up typically refers to the visual appeal of being able to see muscle definition which is a result of body fat reduction. This can be accomplished and enhanced through a specifically designed weight loss program. Gaining muscle can help promote the ability to see muscle definition, however depending on your existing body fat percentage, increasing lean body mass (muscle tissue) may or may not result in a toned look. It is recommended that you first engage in a body fat reduction program, afterwhich you can determine if you still want more results. Once you have reduced your body fat, if you want to be able to see increased muscle definition, it is a good idea to engage in a program that promotes the increase of lean body mass. Body fat reduction can only be achieved if you consume fewer calories than your body burns. This will force your body to use stored fat rather than food consumption for energy purposes. While engaging in a body fat reduction program, ensure that you incorporate cardio and resistance training. Once you have reached your desired body fat levels, you can then increase your caloric intake and begin to adjust your resistance training program to focus specifically on increasing lean body mass, such as that seen in hypertrophy training.

In order to "Tone Up" I would recommend a combination of both losing bodyfat and gaining muscle.  People often underestimate the value of Resistance Training when it comes to losing bodyfat.  It would be ideal to do a combination of both traditional cardiovascular exercise and resistance training to have a "Toned" look.  The other important factor, of course, is proper nutrition!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.